I think that we all have a tendency to give more personhood to years than they deserve. “So long 2022!” is the defining refrain this January, and I know I will be among those more than glad to see last year in the rear view mirror, but 2022 didn’t purposefully single me out to do me wrong. The passage of time is like a natural disaster; we give human names to hurricanes, but a hurricane doesn’t have malicious intent. It simply is. 2023 will be a year that is as well. It will have good days and bad days in store for me just like its predecessor. So instead of imploring for something better and pretending the bad days are all behind me now, I will start this year as is my tradition to start every year, and say only this:
I am gonna make it through this year if it kills me.
You, of course, didn’t come to me for my half-baked philosophical ideas. You came here because you are interested in what it was that I listened to and loved this year. Thank you for that, sincerely. However small the number might be, the thought that there are people who take genuine interest in what I talk about is what keeps me wanting to talk about it more. 2022 certainly gave me a lot more to talk about than in previous years, and brought with it some of my favorite discoveries in recent memory. Some of these you’ve heard me mention more than once, some I haven’t had the pleasure to yet, all are worthy of being reminisced on here. Read about them all below.
Look, you know me and my old-school love by now. Would anything other than the new Metallica going to kick off this, the 260th edition of the Nine Circles Playlist? “Lux Æterna” sounds like a band enjoying themselves, playing a lost cover from the past as part of their Garage Days series and I for one am here for it. Plus hot off the presses another killer track from the forthcoming Katatonia? 2023 can’t get here fast enough.
Elsewhere the 9C gang brought it home with some truly neck-breaking metal, including Meristem, Confined and Ultimatum from Josh as well as Panopticon, Pianos Become the Teeth, Pyrithe and – breaking the “P” streak – City of Caterpillar from Vincent. New Guy™ Colin brings the heavy with Moribund Dawn, Anaal Nathrakh, and King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard in firm metal mode, while Slightly Older New Guy™ Dan hits us with Heads for the Dead, Boris, Chrome, and Black Dresses. Angela invites you to get dark with Gavran, Chelsea Wolfe and The New Values while in a twist, Anton brings up the rear guard with a pair of killers: Turbid North and Ketha.
Second booster. Feel like shit (déjà vu?)…I’m not complaining, just stating the current state of my body at the moment. So let’s get to it for the 251st edition of the Nine Circles Playlist.
Kicking it off with a few recent discoveries for yours truly with new releases from Phobophilic and Toadeater (thanks BANGERTV) as well as a classic from Life of Agony. Then we have a blessing in the form of new freakin’ music from -(16)- as well as cuts from Gaerea, Yandere Chainsaw Regurgitation Factory, Frayle, City of Caterpillar (thanks Vince because I am loving this), and Panopticon, as well as music from Chat Pile, Wailin’ Storms, Foscar covering Alice in Chains, Devenial Verdict, and a host of classics from the likes of Yob, Cathedral, Baroness, and more.
We’re doing something a little different for this, our 240th edition of the Nine Circles Playlist. Around the 9C offices the jibberjab has been about mid-year favorites (maybe you’ve read a few of ourposts), and so I decided to ask each of the folks on staff to supply me with a track from their favorite metal (or metal adjacent) album this year.
I’m not gonna say who picked what, but I can say all of these choices righteously rock. And there was one album that was a three-way tie among the staff (what can I say, Corey, Josh and I have excellent – and similar – taste) so in instances of duplicates we let one person pick the track and the others would choose from their second favorite album. So settle in and crank it LOUD, and enjoy some of the best music to come out so far in 2022, including cuts from Saor, Pyrithe, Zeal & Ardor, A Pregnant Light, Nite, Kreator, Wilderun, Tzompantli and a bunch more…
Hello. Been a while, hasn’t it? Every year feels like it’s passing us by faster and faster, but the overwhelming amount of things to process this year has already made it impossible to fathom that 2022 is halfway over. If you are curious as to what music has been keeping me grounded for the last six months, now is as good a time as any to check in and see what the standout albums of the year are, as far as one humble author is concerned. Down to business then…